Hilton Head Island Celebrity Golf Tournament Returns this Labor Day Weekend

RTJ courseBy Lance Hanlin, lhanlin@golfersguide.com

The date was Jan. 24, 1982.

The location was the Pontiac Silverdome.

The event was Super Bowl XVI.

After the San Francisco 49ers fumbled the opening kickoff, Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Ken Anderson advanced his team deep inside 49ers territory. On third-and-goal, with more than 85 million viewers watching, San Francisco defensive back Dwight Hicks quickly flipped the momentum of the game by intercepting an Anderson pass. The turnover led to an early San Francisco touchdown and what would become the first of many Super Bowl victories for the legendary franchise.

“They say the team that scores first has the best chance of winning,” said Anderson, who moved to Hilton Head Island full-time in 2009. “It was such a big game for both teams. We were both 4-12 the year before and both went 12-4 the next year and met in the Super Bowl. We were both big underdogs. Bill Walsh was the coach of the 49ers. He was my first quarterback coach in Cincinnati. There were just a lot of connections there.”

Anderson will reconnect with a bit of that past this Labor Day Weekend. Both he and Hicks are among the celebrities featured in the 2012 Hilton Head Island Celebrity Golf Tournament, set for Aug. 31 through Sept. 2 at three area golf courses.

Golfers can enjoy three days of golf with a different celebrity each day on the Robert Trent Jones Course at Palmetto Dunes (Friday, Aug. 31), the Dye Course at Colleton River (Saturday, Sept. 1) and Harbour Town Golf Links in Sea Pines (Sunday, Sept. 2).

The tournament is a 9 a.m. shotgun start each day with groups of four golfers paired with a celebrity in a shamble format. The cost to participate is $2,500 and includes all three days of golf, all food and beverages and special night events.

“It’s a non-stop weekend of golf, entertainment and amazing food and beverages,” said Carol Kavanaugh, one of the event’s producers. “We have such amazing local support throughout the community with businesses who contribute so much to make the tournament successful and make our guests feel so welcome. It’s all those little touches that make it a tournament not to be missed.”

Another featured celebrity is legendary men’s basketball coach Bobby Cremins. While at Georgia Tech, Cremins received an invitation to attend the event each summer.

“They always invited me but I could never get down there,” Cremins said. “It’s tough on coaches because of recruiting and just getting ready for the season.”

That all changed in 2000 when Cremins announced his retirement and moved to Hilton Head Island.

The New York native and University of South Carolina graduate used golf to transition from his high-profile, engrossing profession to his new laid-back, low-stress lifestyle in the Lowcountry. He found time to help the HHICGT raise money for 20 well-deserving children’s charities.

“I really got involved with it,” Cremins said.
He has served as both member of the tournament’s Council of Trustees and has been a celebrity golfer over the years. Even when he got back into coaching at College of Charleston in 2006, he stayed involved with the tournament.  Now retired for the second time, Cremins plans on devoting even more time to his charity work.
“I’ve met a lot of incredible people and it’s for a great cause,” Cremins said. “ I love the courses and I love the people.”

To date, the tournament has raised more than $3.8 million since its start in 1979. The cost for spectators is a $5 donation, per day.

“Our celebrities are very approachable,” Kavanaugh said. “People can go up and chat with their sports heroes or their favorite entertainers. They can get autographs and so fourth, as long as they’re not holding up play.”

Friday’s round at Palmetto Dunes will be followed by an Oceanside Party and Casino Night at 6 p.m. at the Westin Resort & Spa. Saturday night is the Mortgage Network’s Red Carpet Event, highlighted by celebrity chef Robert Irvine preparing the evening’s courses onstage. That event starts at 6:30 p.m. and will also take place at the Westin.

Sunday’s golf at Harbour Town Golf Links will be followed by an awards ceremony catered by Wild Wing Café and sponsored by C9 By Champion.

What: 32nd Hilton Head Island Celebrity Golf Tournament
When: 9 a.m., Aug. 31-Sept. 2
Where: Robert Trent Jones Oceanfront Course at Palmetto Dunes Resort (Friday, Aug. 31); Dye Course at Colleton River Plantation Club (Saturday, Sept. 1); Harbour Town Golf Links at Sea Pines Resort (Sunday, Sept. 2)
Cost to participate: $2,500
Spectators: $5 donation, per day
More information: www.hhcelebritygolf.com


Name: Ken Anderson
Celebrity: Former football player
Best known for: Quarterback for the Cincinnati Bengals

Name: Josh Carter
Celebrity: Country music star
Best known for: Vocals and guitar in the band Kingston

Name: Zack Carter
Celebrity: Country music star
Best known for: Vocals and keyboard in the band Kingston

Name: Mark Collins
Celebrity: Former football player
Best known for: Cornerback for the New York Giants

Name: Bobby Cremins
Celebrity: Former basketball coach
Best known for: Coaching at College of Charleston and Georgia Tech

Name: Doug Flynn
Celebrity: Former baseball player
Best known for: Infielder the Cincinnati Reds

Name: Dwight Hicks
Celebrity: Former football player
Best known for: Defensive back for the San Francisco 49ers

Name: Robert Irvine
Celebrity: Celebrity chef
Best known for: Hosting TV shows Dinner: Impossible, Worst Cooks in America and Restaurant: Impossible

Name: Alan Kalter
Celebrity: Television announcer
Best known for: Announcing the Late Show with David Letterman

Name: Erik Kuselias
Celebrity: TV host
Best known for: Hosting NBC Sports Talk

Name: Kimberley Locke
Celebrity: Pop singer
Best known for: Finalist on 2003 American Idol

Name: Beau MacMillan
Celebrity: Celebrity chef
Best known for: Co-host of Worst Cooks in America, Season 1

Name: Mark Malone
Celebrity: Former football player
Best known for: Quarterback for the Pittsburgh Steelers

Name: Tom Moore
Celebrity: Former football coach
Best known for: Offensive coordinator for the Indianapolis Colts

Name: Muhsin Muhammad
Celebrity: Former football player
Best known for: Wide receiver for the Carolina Panthers

Name: Taniya Nayak
Celebrity: Designer
Best known for: Design expert member on HGTV’s Designed to Sell

Name: Richard Schiff
Celebrity: Actor
Best known for: Playing Toby Ziegler on The West Wing

Name: Reggie Smith
Celebrity: Former baseball player
Best known for: Outfielder for the Los Angeles Dodgers

Name: Holly Sonders
Celebrity: TV host
Best known for: Hosting the Golf Channel’s Morning Drive

Name: Phil Varone
Celebrity: Drummer
Best known for: Founding member of Saigon Kick

Name: Tim Wakefield
Celebrity: Former baseball player
Best known for: Pitcher for the Boston Red Sox

Name: Paul Williams
Celebrity: Composer
Best known for: Composing “Rainbow Connection” from The Muppet Movie

Name: Brian Worley
Celebrity: Event planner
Best known for: Hosting E!’s “Party Monsters Cabo.”


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